(“I was told, growing up, that Black girls could not wear red lipstick, ever. Today, I have at least 20 shades of red. And am always looking for a new one.”)
Bio: Aliya S. King is a writer and podcast producer (Good Talk, Writing Practice). Her podcast network, Good Talk Productions, launches this summer. Her latest book, Keep Your Head Up, will be out from Denene Millner Books | Simon and Schuster in 2021.
Beyond the Bio: I’ve been sober for nine years. And in 2016, I worked with a team of folks to get my mental health in check. Now in full remission from Bipolar 2 for four years. Thanks to both of those things, I’m on my seventh book and doing all the fun professional things. I have two babies who are not babies but are still amazing. And I have a partner who completes me in the corniest of ways.
What makes you a grown-ass lady? I wear caftans, un-ironically. Like, full-on Mrs. Roper-steeze. I wear long-ass stiletto nails with matte polish. In general, I do things because I want to and because I can. Last year, I joined a dating site, created a too-long list of what I wanted. The person who appeared? We’ve been joined at the hip for a year. He asked me to marry him last month. Grown-grown.
Here’s her TueNight 10:
1. On the nightstand: Too many chargers, (watch, phone, headphones), notebook for daily morning musings, Uniball pens, (and ONLY Uniballs). I have a tiny brass sparrow, to remind me of the song His Eye Is On The Sparrow, a tiny jar of mustard seeds, to remind me to have the faith of just a single mustard seed, makeup remover wipes, a photo of me and my youngest daughter—and four coffee cups with a tiny bit of coffee left in each. To drive my partner crazy.
2. Can’t stop/won’t stop: I just bought a bike. Haven’t been on one in decades. It’s exhilarating. Also hurts like hell. I just learned I have to go at least 50 miles before it stops hurting. I’m on mile 5.
3. Jam of the minute: Issues/Hold On by Teyana Taylor. I love her raspy voice and the lyrics are a perfect fit when I’m feeling guilty about fussing with my partner.
4. Thing I miss: My daughter. She’s 23 years old and moved to Los Angeles right before the pandemic. I haven’t gone this long without seeing her since, ever.
5. ’80s crush: Ralph Tresvant and Raphael Saddiq.
6. Current crush: Young M.A. I’m straight. But if she gives me a call, I’m just saying.
7. Latest fave find: It’s not latest. I’ve loved this line for ages. A new outfit from Onion by Whitney Mero can bring me to actual tears. I have three on the way.
8. Last thing you lost: MY PLANNER. I am serious about my planners. During the pandemic, I didn’t need one so I stored it somewhere. And now I can’t find it. It pains me to no end. I finally broke down yesterday and designed another. I know the lost planner will now resurface and I will want to throw things.
9. Best thing that happened recently: I guess the easy answer is that I got engaged. I feel weird about saying that because it’s like, eye roll. But this man is the best. I’m so proud of our growth in the past year.
10. Looking forward to: I’m restarting with my personal trainer this weekend. I’m petrified.